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​A Taste of the Drift Prairie

Beer Snob | June 21st, 2023

By Sabrina Hornung

sabrina@hpr1.com

New Jamestown Brewery Serves up Local Flavor

There’s something delicious brewing out here on the prairie and it just so happens to be the newest brewery west of the Red River and east of the Missouri, by the name of Drift Prairie Brewing.

“Drift prairie is actually the name of the geological region that runs down the middle to middle-eastern part of the state. It's bordered by the Red River Valley on the east and the Missouri slope to the west. It was something that had come to my mind. I've just always liked the name. It defines our region, I think, and it just always stuck with me. It was always in my head because of third grade North Dakota history,” said Emma Kleingartner, one of the brewery’s owners.

The idea for Drift Prairie Brewing came to fruition thanks to eight families from the Jamestown area. Since its opening on May 22, it has already become a hot spot in The Buffalo City.

“We love Jamestown, we care about it. We care about our region, we want to see people come together just to support and encourage one another. And I think just being drawn to the idea of creating something in Jamestown that hasn't existed before, or at least hasn't existed for a long time, as I think there was actually a brewery here a long time ago,” said Kalen Heller, who is another one of the owners.

“We’re just wanting to create a place where people can feel comfortable and come and be themselves, and we're wanting to make it a place that people can bring their families, so children will be welcome. Yeah, so really just a place where people can gather together and have community and interact with one another and have good conversation,” he said.

Along with signature beers there will be non-alcoholic options such as housemade root beer, a selection of mocktails, ice teas and the possibility of kombucha and potentially coffee in the future.

At the time of the interview Kalen told us they had a 15 barrel system with three beers in the fermenter in anticipation of the grand opening.

“We actually also have a distribution line that we're going to be opening up probably in our phase two, so we've got a canning line that we're super excited about and hopefully, we’ll be able to partner with a bunch of other organizations in North Dakota and then even in the Upper Midwest, or as far as we can go,” Heller said.

They have a limited menu, including sandwiches, lavosh, charcuterie, and even… kuchen flights?

Beer Flights and Kuchen Flights?

Emma recently sold her catering business and soon started another small business called Emma’s Kuchen. She considers herself a “self-taught cook” but not a chef. Her main area of expertise? German Russian fare with an emphasis on the kuchen.

For those unfamiliar, traditionally kuchen is a dessert that typically has a yeast dough crust and custard filling and oftentimes is made with some kind of fruit or candy. Her spin on the dessert is a kuchen “cup,” think kuchen minus the crust, which can be frozen or quite easily made gluten free and eaten with a spoon.

“They appeal to maybe the younger generation or to kids more than the traditional pie shape. I'm also going to be doing minis, like six-inch kuchens and we're calling those cuties. We also do a mini version of a cup that we call shooters,” Emma said.

She went on to say, “At the brewery, we will have a variety of these products, maybe not all of them at the same time. But they will be here exclusively. The most exciting part of that is probably the ‘flight.’ We will have a flight like you would get a beer flight, but instead have little mini kuchen shooters.”

We couldn’t help but ask where she found her kuchen recipe and love of cooking..

“I started loving to cook the summer I was like...14. I pretty much cooked my way through the ‘Stutsman County Homemakers Cookbook.’ Like the movie ‘Julia and Julia,’ where she cooks her way through Julia Child's French cookbook– I did that with the ‘Stutsman County Homemakers Cookbook.’

“Of course there are many kuchen recipes in there, mine is just the combination of several of those and me changing it and tweaking it to my liking over the years,” she said.

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